Montreal Horse Drawn Carriages Draw Protests
 By Winniefield Park   •   22nd May 2016   •   940 views   •   0 comments

Montreal is a beautiful city. There seems to be a festival every weekend. Old Montreal is charming, historical and very touristy, with lovely shops and eateries. There are open air markets during the summer. And, if you are inclined, you can enjoy a calèche ride to see the early architecture and scenic cultural and tourist spots. And, considering how Montrealers drive, a leisurely calèche or horse drawn carriage ride through the narrow streets of the most touristy area sounds like the way to go.

But like New York, Victoria, BC, Salzberg, Austria and other cities, many are saying that the horse drawn carriages have to go. Recently, a video showing a horse that got away from its driver after the vehicle it was hitched to was clipped by a car, go to its knees several times, has gone viral. And, that has reopened the debate on whether it’s time for the horse drawn carriage trade to come to an end.

Like their counterparts in many others cities, carriage horses are exposed to noise, extremes in heat and cold, motor vehicle exhaust, unforgiving footing, rush hour traffic (I’ve driven there long ago - it seemed to be always rush hour). Montreal can be bitterly cold in the winter and brutally hot and humid in the summer. There are by-laws in place to prevent horses from being worked over 30C, but many say they are rarely enforced.

Related: Is it Time To End Horse Drawn Carriages in New York City
Related: Gili Trawangan Remote Tourist Island Culture of Abused Ponies

Some claim that calèches are a part of a 350 year tradition in the city. Although they were once decorated lavishly with flowers, bright colors and fabrics, today’s vehicles are simpler, and may be pulled by a draft or light horse, some which appear to be in poor condition. There have been complaints that the vehicles were rickety, the horses unhealthy and the drivers apathetic. Several years ago, the city attempted to reduce the number of calèche operators, so that there would be less competition for the fewer number of tourists that were engaging their services. This would permit them to charge more competitive prices, allowing them to earn more money to upgrade and care for their equipment and horses. The goal at that time was to reduce the number of carriages in operation to twenty.

Protesters recently gathered outside of Montreal City Hall a historic building on some calèche driver’s tour route, asking the city’s mayor to ban the carriage trade. There have been accusations of overwork and abuse. The Montreal SPCA has seized horses in the past, one after it collapsed and was kicked by its driver. A team of two twenty year old horses were taken and placed in retirement. Horses work from six to nine hours a day. Griffintown Horse Palace is one of the oldest stables, built in 1862. There remains only a few horses and calèches at the stable now, and it is surrounded by the noise of construction as condos are being built up around them. The building is in poor repair, with limited turnout for the horses. Pictures of stables, some taken by an employee ‘under cover’ show narrow, soiled stalls, poor drainage and open walls that will do nothing to stop winter winds and rain. There have also been allegations that horses are routinely administered ‘bute’ a pain killer, with several horses being injected using the same needle.

Currently, there are about twenty-three calèches operating. But critics claim that they are giving the city a bad name. Unless conditions for the horses change dramatically in a short time, it may be, some say, time to ban them all together.

 More News by Winniefield Park
RavenSide Stud TBS Home of Multiple Top Ranked Horses
5th Jul 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
RSS Break Even and RSS Identity Thief are both top ranked horses belonging to the same stables. RavenSide Stud TBS was established in 2017 and is ranked at 113 with 49,459,023 PB in earnings. Currently, there are three stallions s ...
Horse Dismounts Police in Protest Turned Ugly
4th Jul 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
During a peaceful protest that turned ugly in London, UK a police horse bolted after being pelted with debris by violent demonstrators. Flares, bottles and sticks flew as the crowd was pushed back by mounted police officers. One o ...
Horse That Survived Kentucky Horse Shooting Foals Healthy Pinto
3rd Jul 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
You might remember a story from early last winter about twenty horses in Eastern Kentucky that were shot and killed. The few survivors were taken to Kentucky Humane Society’s Willow Hope Farm to regain their health and eventually ...
Stop Petting Wild Horses
29th Jun 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Beach-goers to the Outer Banks are being asked to stay clear of the wild horses that live there after a photo of a woman appearing to pat a wild horse has surfaced. This is not an isolated incident as tourists visit the well known ...
Funny Horse Fruit Taste Test
28th Jun 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Some horses eat anything and will eat everything from anchovies to zucchini. And some are extremely picky and act like you’ve poisoned them if you put anything but hay and grain in front of their noses. Have you ever tried a taste ...
Jim Gaffigan Horse Comedy
27th Jun 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Jim Gaffigan pokes fun at the Triple Crown, from the costumes and pageantry, to owners, jockeys and trainers. He then takes a humorous trek through the horse world, exploring horse breeds, horse people, horseshoes, riding and the ...
Top Five PonyBox Horses for First Half of 2020
22nd Jun 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
We are halfway through 2020 and so far it’s been quite a year. IRL, there has been a lot going on. But on Ponybox, records continue to be broken and new horses are vying for the top rank and highest jumps. Horses tend to go throug ...
Horse Rescue Races to Save Ponies For Auction Due to COVID-19
21st Jun 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Covid-19 is taking its toll on so many businesses and individuals. One rescue stable in British Columbia, Canada, fears that they are running out of time to save 30 horses and ponies, many of which could be sent to slaughter. The ...
  View All News by Winniefield Park
©2002 - 2020   PonyBox LLC Create Account Terms & Conditions Privacy Contact Us
212 Members Online 267,292 Registered Members 2,735 News Articles 11,617,394 Unique News Article Views 276,411,462 Website Views